CS Welcomes Mathias Payer

10-22-2014
Writer(s): Jesica E. Hollinger

Joining Purdue CS as a new assistant professor this fall, Mathias Payer defines himself as a security nerd. Mathias' interests are related toMathias Payer system security, binary exploitation, software-based fault isolation, binary translation, and (application) virtualization. Before joining Purdue in 2014 he spent two years as a post doctorate researcher in Dawn Song's BitBlaze group at UC Berkeley where he worked on scalable symbolic execution and Code-Pointer Integrity, a defense mechanism that protects applications from memory safety vulnerabilities. He graduated from ETH with a Dr. sc. ETH in 2012 where he analyzed different exploit techniques and wondered how binary translation can protect existing software from attacks with TRuE and libdetox as a prototype implementation of the security framework.

Since coming to Purdue, he has engaged students in an activity known as Capture the Flag (CTF). The team (known as b01lers) gains experience in system security, reverse engineering, cryptography,and forensics while learning practical skills in these areas. Students go on to use these skills in competitions, where they can measure their hacking skills against other teams from other universities, private companies, and underground teams.

When not inspiring young minds in the classroom, Mathias enjoys attending the arts and exploring the outdoors through running, hiking, biking, or Geocaching.